2017 Next Generation Jazz Festival Judges and Adjudicators

The 2017 Judges will perform at the Opening Night Judges Concert at the Golden State Theatre in downtown Monterey on March 31 at 7:30 p.m. You can purchase Gold Circle Seating here.

Jeff Baker, vocals
Dan Balmer, guitar
Gilbert Castellanos, trumpet

Gerald Clayton, 2017 Artist-In-Residence, piano
John Clayton, 2017 Artist-In-Residence, bass
Carla Cook, vocals
John Fedchock, trombone
Joel Frahm, tenor saxophone
Tia Fuller, alto saxophone
Danae Greenfield Quartet from Berklee College of Music, clinicians

Jeff Hamilton, 2017 Artist-In-Residence, drums
Jeff Jarvis, trumpet, adjunct adjudicator
Gary Smulyan, baritone saxophone
George Stone, sight reading and commission piece composer, Gerald Wilson Award adjudication
Michele Weir, vocals

XO Trombones

XO Trombone Artist John Fedchock’s appearance at the Next Generation Jazz Festival has been made possible in part through an educational grant from XO Professional Brass. John Fedchock performs exclusively on XO Trombones.

 

ADJUDICATOR BIOS

Jeff Baker, vocals

Jeff Baker has quickly become one of the most significant talents in the next generation of jazz vocalists. He has shared the billing and played with some of jazz music’s top artists including the YellowJackets, Mose Allison, Kenny Werner, Joey DeFrancesco, Joe LaBarbera, Bruce Barth, Darrell Grant, Karrin Allyson, Nancy King, Henry Butler, Dave Frishberg, Gene Harris, Orrin Evans, Clark Sommers, George Colligan, Randy Porter, and many more!

His four critically-acclaimed CD releases on Origin/OA2 Records have charted on the Jazzweek International Radio Top 50; have been played on over 200 stations internationally; were Top 5 on NPR’s Jazz Works radio program, and were #1 across the country. WCLK in Atlanta called Jeff “…one of the best male vocalists in the jazz world today.”

A graduate of Willamette University, Baker is a sought-after jazz educator and clinician. He has adjudicated numerous festivals, and has worked with the nation’s very best high school and college jazz programs.  As one of the ‘founding fathers’ of the ArtsWest School for Performing and Visual Arts, his students have won over 100 top awards at festivals and competitions throughout the U.S., including being named finalists to Monterey's Next Generation Jazz Festival in 2010-12, and winning ten DownBeat Magazine Student Music Awards, including the 2010, 2012 and 2013 High School Vocal Solo Winners, and the 2012 Winner for Large Vocal Jazz Ensemble. Additionally, Baker’s groups have been invited to perform at the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Portland Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall, and the National Cathedral.

Jeff is an ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) Certified Clinician/Adjudicator, a past member of the International Association of Jazz Education (IAJE), and a current member of the Jazz Education Network (JEN), the National Association for Music Education (NAFME), and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS or the GRAMMY Foundation).  Jeff Baker resides in Portland, Oregon, is currently on the jazz faculty at Portland State University, and is the co-founder and director of the Jazz Forward Competition. http://jeffbakerjazz.com

Dan Balmer, guitar

Dan Balmer is Instructor of Jazz Guitar and Jazz Combos at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and has long been considered one of the finest guitarists, composers, and educators in the Northwest. In 2009, Dan became one of only five Oregonians to be honored with membership in both the Oregon Music Hall of Fame and the Jazz Society of Oregon Hall of Fame. From 2005-2009 Dan toured and recorded with two-time Grammy winner Diane Schuur playing in over 15 countries and 60 cities. When not on the road with Ms. Schuur he leads his own groups and continues his long-standing gigs with drummer Mel Brown, David Friesen, and others. http://danbalmer.com

Gilbert Castellanos, trumpet

Recognized as a new American master by DownBeat magazine, Gilbert Castellanos has established himself as one of the nation’s most inventive improvisers in stirring live performances as a member of the Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Anthony Wilson Nonet, Charles McPherson Quintet, Willie Jones III Quintet, and as leader of his own groups.

After graduating from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and Cal Arts in Los Angeles, Castellanos quickly rose to national attention as a member of the celebrated band Black/Note, with whom he recorded three albums: L.A. Underground (Red Records), Jungle Music (Columbia Records) and Nothin’ But the Swing (Impulse Records). His recording career since Black/Note has seen Castellanos thrive as a player, bandleader, composer and arranger on two acclaimed albums: his soulful 1999 self-titled debut release, The Gilbert Castellanos Hammond B3 Quartet, and his eclectic second offering, Underground (Seedling Records, 2006).

Between recordings, Castellanos keeps busy as one of the most respected sidemen and soloists working today. Castellanos has worked with world-renowned artists Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marsalis, Charlie Hayden, Les McCann, Poncho Sanchez, Diana Krall, Willie Nelson, Michael Buble, and Natalie Cole, to name a few. In 2009, he played live for millions of listeners as a member of the supporting band on American Idol.

Gerald Clayton, 2017 Artist-In-Residence, piano

Pianist and composer Gerald Clayton is a leading figure in the up-and-coming generation of jazz artists. He has been hailed by The New York Times for his “huge, authoritative presence.” Born in the Netherlands in 1984 and raised in Southern California, Clayton took his first piano lessons before age seven with the support and encouragement of his father, John Clayton. Gerald attended the L.A. County High School for the Arts, followed by both USC Thornton and the Manhattan School of Music.

In 2006, Gerald received the second place prize in the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute Piano Competition. He then spent three years with trumpeter Roy Hargrove between 2006 and 2009, touring extensively and appearing on several of Hargrove’s albums. Gerald has also recorded with Diana Krall, Ambrose Akinmusire, Kendrick Scott, Melissa Morgan, Terell Stafford and Dick Oatts, and more recently with Michael Rodriguez, Dayna Stephens, Terri Lyne Carrington, and the Clayton Brothers Quintet, led by his father John, and his uncle, saxophonist Jeff Clayton.

In 2009, he released Two Shade, his debut album as a leader, and received a GRAMMY nomination for Best Improvised Jazz Solo. In 2011, Gerald received a second GRAMMY nomination, this time for Best Jazz Instrumental Composition. Gerald’s sophomore album, Bond: The Paris Sessions, earned him a third GRAMMY nomination for Best Jazz Instrumental Album. His latest, Life Forum, was released in 2013 on Concord Records. In 2016, he acted as Musical Director for Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour, which performed 28 shows 17 cities in 10 states in the first quarter of the year. Clayton, a scholarship and soloist award winner at Monterey’s 2000 and 2001 Next Generation Jazz Festival with the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, has made trio appearances at MJF in 2010 and 2012, and recently performed in 2014 in duo with Charles Lloyd. http://geraldclayton.com

John Clayton, 2017 Artist-In-Residence, bass

Composer, arranger, conductor, producer, educator, and bassist John Clayton has won a GRAMMY and has eight additional nominations. He has performed with Diana Krall, Paul McCartney, Regina Carter, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Gladys Knight, Queen Latifah, and Charles Aznavour, and many others. He began his bass career in elementary school, and in 1969, at the age of 16, he enrolled in bassist Ray Brown’s jazz class at UCLA, beginning a close relationship that lasted more than three decades. After graduating from Indiana University’s School of Music with a degree in bass performance in 1975, he toured with the Monty Alexander Trio (1975-77), the Count Basie Orchestra (1977-79), and settled in as principal bassist with the Amsterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in Amsterdam, The Netherlands (1980-85), and was also a bass instructor at the Royal Conservatory, in The Hague from 1980-83.

In 1986, he co-founded the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, and from 1988-2009, he was a faculty member of the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. In addition to individual clinics, workshops, and private students as schedule permits, John currently directs the educational components associated with the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, Centrum Festival, and Vail Jazz Party.

His career highlights include arranging the “Star Spangled Banner” for Whitney Houston’s platinum-selling performance at Super Bowl 1990; playing bass on Paul McCartney’s 2012 CD Kisses On The Bottom, arranging and playing bass with Yo-Yo Ma and Friends on Songs of Joy and Peace, and arranging playing and conducting the 2009 CD Charles Aznavour with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, and numerous recordings with Diana Krall, the Clayton Brothers, the CHJO, Milt Jackson, Monty Alexander, and many others. In 2013, the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra acted as the commission artist for the Monterey Jazz Festival for Suite Sweet Dave: The Brubeck Fileswww.johnclaytonjazz.com

Carla Cook, vocals

In her native Detroit, vocalist Carla Cook started singing when she was a young child and studied voice, piano, and string bass. After leaving the Motor City, Cook moved to Boston to attend Northeastern University and earned a degree in Speech Communication. While in Boston, she formed the first of several jazz ensembles and set about the business of her trade. Then in 1990, she moved to New York, where she became active on the Manhattan club scene but paid her bills with various "day gigs" that concluded with her teaching social studies in a junior high school. By the mid-90s, however, she was singing on a full-time basis and had given up her day jobs. It was in 1998 that Cook signed with MAXJAZZ, and in 1999, Cook recorded her debut album; It's All About Love. The CD enjoyed favorable reviews and received a Grammy nomination in the Best Jazz Vocal Performance category and was awarded the AFIM Indie Award for Best Jazz Vocal in 2000. Cook recorded her second album, Dem Bones (2000) and Simply Natural, (2002) both for MAXJAZZ. Her albums continue to receive critical acclaim. www.carlacook.com

John Fedchock, trombone

John Fedchock’s illustrious career in jazz has spanned over three decades. Since 1980, Fedchock has established himself as a world-class trombone soloist, a heralded bandleader, and a Grammy-nominated arranger. An in-demand performer and writer in New York City, his multifaceted talents have led him to become one of NYC’s premier jazz artists. His critically-acclaimed John Fedchock New York Big Band has become a marquee group, showcasing Fedchock’s trombone and arranging as well as the band’s all-star soloists. The JFNYBB’s five CDs on the MAMA and Reservoir Music labels have all received high praise from critics and extraordinary success on national jazz radio charts. The early success of the band resulted in Fedchock’s name appearing in DOWNBEAT’s Readers Poll under the categories of Trombone, Arranger and Big Band, simultaneously for several consecutive years. In recognition of his formidable arranging skills, Fedchock is a two-time GRAMMY Award nominee for “Best Instrumental Arrangement.”

Fedchock began his career as a jazz trombonist when he joined the legendary Woody Herman Orchestra in 1980. He toured with Woody’s “Thundering Herd” for seven years, during which time he was musical director and a featured soloist.

Fedchock has additionally toured with T.S. Monk, Gerry Mulligan Concert Jazz Band, Louie Bellson Big Band, Bob Belden Ensemble, Manhattan Jazz Orchestra, Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra and the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, and has performed at jazz festivals and concert halls around the world.  He is director of the all-star big band on the annual Jazz Cruise and as a solo artist, appears throughout the United States and abroad performing as guest trombonist, composer, and conductor. To add to his already diverse list of multiple talents, Fedchock is also a producer of note, and has lent his studio expertise to several recent recording projects.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Fedchock is a graduate of The Ohio State University with degrees in Music Education and Jazz Studies. He also holds a master’s degree in Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media from the prestigious Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He is an in-demand clinician, and conducts seminars and workshops at colleges and universities across the country. His compositions and arrangements are published by Jazzlines Publications, Kendor Music Inc, and Walrus Music Publishing. John Fedchock is a trombone artist for XO Professional Brass and plays XO trombones exclusively. His collaboration with the prominent instrument company to create the XO1632 trombone has proven to be an overwhelming success in both innovative design and industry popularity. www.johnfedchock.com

XO TrombonesXO Trombone Artist John Fedchock’s appearance at the Next Generation Jazz Festival has been made possible in part through an educational grant from XO Professional Brass. John Fedchock performs exclusively on XO Trombones.

Joel Frahm, tenor saxophone

Born in 1969 in Racine, Wisconsin, saxophonist Joel Frahm attended the Mason Gross School for the Arts and earned his B.A. in Jazz Performance at Manhattan School of Music. He released three highly regarded recordings on Palmetto: The Navigator, Don't Explain (with Mehldau), and Sorry No Decaf.  A number one record on jazz radio and CMJ’s college radio charts, Joel has also been selected in DownBeat Magazine’s Critics Poll as a Rising Star in the tenor saxophone category.

Having made a name for himself over 20 years through his associations with singer Jane Monheit and childhood friend, pianist Brad Mehldau, Joel has also worked with a vast array of musical peers and jazz legends including Maynard Ferguson, Betty Carter, Matt Wilson, Larry Goldings, Dewey Redman, Lee Konitz, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Andrew Hill, Ben Allison, Pat Martino, Ingrid Jensen, Dena Derose, the Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Kyle Eastwood, and many others. www.joelfrahm.com

Tia Fuller, alto saxophone

Mack Avenue recording artist Tia Fuller is a touring artist and full-time professor at the Berklee School of Music. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Spelman College in Atlanta (Magna Cum Laude) and her Master’s degree in Jazz Pedagogy and Performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder (Summa Cum Laude). Tia was selected to be a member of the all-female band touring with R&B star, Beyoncé, as part of the I AM…Sasha Fierce and Beyoncé Experience World Tour, and has played in various venues throughout the US, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. She is a featured soloist on the Beyoncé Experience DVDs Me, Myself and I), and I am... Yours and also appeared on number of major television shows, such as the Oprah Winfrey Show, Today Show, Good Morning America, BET Awards, the American Music Awards, Total Request Live, the 2010 Grammy Awards, and has performed as the featured soloist with Beyoncé for President Obama at the White House.

Tia has recorded four CDs with her quartet, and has performed world-wide at the Angola, Croatia, South Africa, North Sea, Umbria, and Edinburgh jazz festivals, and New York’s prestigious Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, just to name a few. Tia can also be seen touring regularly with a number of bands, including: Terri Lyne Carrington’s Grammy-winning Mosaic Project and Money Jungle “Provocative in Blue.” She is the assistant musical director for Esperanza Spalding’s Radio Music Society tour, and Dianne Reeves’ Beautiful Life tour. She has also performed with luminaries such as the Ralph Peterson Septet, Rufus Reid Quintet, Geri Allen, the Nancy Wilson Jazz Orchestra, Wycliff Gordon Septet, Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra, Chaka Kahn, Ledisi, Kelly Rowland, Jay-Z, Jill Scott, Pattie Labelle, Nona Hendryx, Sheila E, Valerie Simpson, Dionne Warwick, Janelle Monet, Patrice Rushen, Erica Badu and Aretha Franklin.

As a devoted educator, Tia is a full-time Professor at Berklee College of Music, where she directs the prestigious Rainbow Big Band and Rainbow All-Stars, in addition to six other ensembles including repertoire and jazz improvisation classes. In addition, she presents lectures, residencies and masterclasses at some of the most respected institutions in the country. www.tiafuller.com

Danae Greenfield

Danae Greenfield is a pianist born and raised in Seattle, Washington. At just 18 months, her tiny, untrained fingers tapped out sounds and patterns on the single-octave toy piano given by her parents. Playing this color-coded keyboard marked the start of Danae’s pursuit of music. At the age of six, she began taking classical piano lessons, switching to jazz at the age of 12. In 2013, after graduating from Bellevue’s Newport High School, Danae moved across the country to attend Berklee College of Music on a full-tuition scholarship.

Since relocating to Boston, Danae has had the privilege of sharing the stage with Chick Corea, Ambrose Akinmusire, Tia Fuller, and Jason Palmer. She has performed in venues such as the Paramount Theater, the Wilbur Theatre, Tula's Restaurant and Jazz Club, the Beat Hotel, The Beehive, the Royal Room, the Middle East, and the Jazz Room, among others. Though primarily a jazz pianist, Danae actively performs funk, hip-hop, reggae, and R&B, among others. Danae will be graduating with a Bachelor of Music Degree in both Performance and Professional Music in May 2017, with the goal of continuing her development as a jazz pianist and performer of creative music. www.facebook.com/danaegreenfieldmusic

Jeff Hamilton

Drummer Jeff Hamilton has continually received rave reviews for his dynamic drumming, has performed on 11 GRAMMY-winning recordings, and has another 10 nominations. Born in Richmond, Indiana, Jeff grew up listening to his parent’s big band records and at the age of eight began playing drums along with Oscar Peterson records. He attended Indiana University and in 1974 got his first big break playing with the New Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. He then joined Lionel Hampton’s Band until 1975 when he, along with bassist John Clayton, became members of the Monty Alexander Trio. He attained a childhood goal in 1977 when he joined Woody Herman and the Thundering Herd. The whirlwind continued with the L.A.4 (with Ray Brown, Bud Shank and Laurindo Almeida), Ella Fitzgerald, the Count Basie Orchestra, Rosemary Clooney, the Ray Brown Trio, and others. Jeff has been on nearly 200 recordings with artists such as Natalie Cole, Diana Krall, Milt Jackson, Rosemary Clooney, Barbara Streisand, Mel Torme, John Pizzarelli, Benny Carter, Lalo Schifrin, George Shearing, Dr. John, Clark Terry, Gene Harris, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Scott Hamilton, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Keely Smith, Bill Holman, Herb Ellis, Barney Kessel, and Mark Murphy. Jeff is a frequent guest of the WDR Big Band in Cologne, Germany, and has also appeared in Natalie Cole’s Great Performances PBS special, Unforgettable and an Oscar Peterson documentary, Life In The Key Of Oscar. http://hamiltonjazz.com

Jeff Jarvis

Jeff Jarvis has distinguished himself as a trumpeter, composer, jazz educator, and music publisher. He serves as Director of Jazz Studies at California State University Long Beach and frequently appears as a honors jazz band conductor, clinician and lecturer. Jeff is the Music Director Emeritus of the Central New York Jazz Orchestra, serves as jazz coordinator for the Texas Bandmasters Association, and is a former IAJE Vice-President. Jeff is part-owner of Kendor Music, Inc., the first educational music publisher to provide jazz charts written especially for students.

His solo recordings as a jazz trumpeter and composer have placed high on national air play charts and have won him critical acclaim. Jeff's early career as a studio trumpeter encompasses over 100 albums for such names as Lou Rawls, Melba Moore, The O'Jays, and many others. Live performance credits include Dizzy Gillespie, Louie Bellson, Joe Williams, Benny Golson, Jon Hendricks, Jimmy Heath, Joe Lovano, Henry Mancini, Slide Hampton, Kevin Mahogany, Grady Tate, Eddie Daniels, Rob McConnell, and Doc Severinsen. Jeff is frequently commissioned to compose music for school, military and professional musical groups, along with serving as a contributing editor for The Instrumentalist, and writing for other music trade journals such as Flute Talk, Band & Orchestra Product News, and Jazz Educators Journal. Jarvis has co-authored The Jazz Educators Handbook with Doug Beach, a jazz piano book with Matt Harris entitled The Chord Voicing Handbook, and with Mike Carubia, Effective Etudes for Jazz, the new standard in jazz performance/audition solos.

A Yamaha trumpet artist, Jeff has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Indonesia. He has most recently been featured with the USAF Airmen of Note, Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Jazz Orchestra, US Army Jazz Ambassadors, Jazz Knights of the United States Military Academy Band at West Point, Riverside Jazz Orchestra, Oslo Big Band (Norway), US Army Blues, Frank Mantooth Jazz Orchestra, Denver Symphony Orchestra, USAF Shades of Blue and more. www.jeffjarvis.net

Gary Smulyan, baritone saxophone

Baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan is critically-acclaimed as one of the major voices on the baritone saxophone today. As a teenager growing up on Long Island, Gary had the opportunity to perform with Lee Konitz, Chet Baker, and Jimmy Knepper. In 1978 he was asked to join Woody Herman's Young Thundering Herd, which at that time included Joe Lovano, Marc Johnson and John Riley. He left Herman in 1980 and moved back to New York to join the Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, led by Bob Brookmeyer. Mr. Smulyan has recorded and performed worldwide with Freddie Hubbard, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Tom Harrell, Cedar Walton, George Coleman, Joe Henderson, Joe Lovano, Tommy Flanagan, Chick Corea, Diana Ross, Clark Terry, Kenny Wheeler, Charles McPherson, James Moody, and Slide Hampton, among others.

He has recorded five CDs for the CrissCross label, and currently performs with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the Joe Lovano Nonet, the Dave Holland Octet and Big Band, The Three Baritone Saxophone Band, the George Coleman Octet, the Dizzy Gillespie All Star Big Band and the Tom Harrell Octet, as well as his own projects.

Over a span of 20-plus years, Gary has won the DownBeat and JazzTimes Critics and Readers Polls multiple times for Baritone Saxophonist of the Year in addition to winning the 2009, 2010 and 2012 Jazz Journalists Association Award for Baritone Saxophonist of the Year. Mr. Smulyan is currently on faculty at William Paterson University and is a clinician and endorser for Vandoren Woodwind Products and Keilworth Saxophones. http://garysmulyan.com

George Stone

George Stone has enjoyed a stellar career in music performance, composition, arranging, and music education for over 28 years. He directs the Audio Technology Program and teaches Music Theory at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, California. Born and raised Southern California, George was a product of the strong local music programs and teachers of the Santa Clarita Valley. He received his degrees from Cal State University Northridge where he was a member of the renowned Jazz “A” Band for whom he wrote extensively. By age 21 he was leading his own Los Angeles big band and writing for live shows and television, including the NBC Tonight Show Orchestra led by Doc Severinson.

Other artists and groups with whom he has been privileged to work include Dave Grusin, Tom Scott, Jack Jones, Chris Vadala, Jeff Babko, Bobby Shew, Alan Ferber, Donny McCaslin, Dave Tull, Luis Bonilla, Maynard Ferguson, Wayne Bergeron, Bob McChesney, Larry Koonse, Ron Jones and most recently, the new Steve Wynn Showstoppers show in Las Vegas. He has composed for CBS, NBC, HBO, Warner Brothers and Disney. He is also the composer of the most famous MIDI song of all time, “Trip Through the Grand Canyon” (Canyon.Mid) that was released on over 66 million copies of Microsoft Windows.

George has appeared as guest composer/conductor at CSU Northridge, University of New Mexico, University of Las Vegas, University of New Hampshire, University of Kansas, University of Texas at Arlington and the University of Nebraska. He recently directed the Centrum Jazz Big Band Workshop in Port Townshend, Washington, and was a featured artist/composer for the Seattle Jazz Collective at the 2015 Earshot Jazz Festival. He has adjudicated literally hundreds of jazz festivals throughout the United States and is commissioned regularly by high school, college and professional bands to compose new music for jazz ensemble. George has conducted jazz honor bands all over the country, and most recently was chosen to conduct the California All-State Jazz Honor Band in 2017.

He is the recipient of the Cuesta College Outstanding Academic Employee and Teacher of the Year award, recognizing his numerous contributions to the college, staff and students of Cuesta and the surrounding community of San Luis Obispo. George performs regularly on trumpet and piano, with compositions and arrangements released through publishers worldwide. His CD entitled The Real Deal features his charts performed by the greatest Los Angeles musicians comprising his big band. His latest composition entitled “Bernie’s Journey” was recorded on trumpeter Wayne Bergeron’s newest CD, Full Circle. His recordings and published charts can be found at www.georgestonemusic.com.

Michele Weir, vocals

Vocalist end educator Michele Weir’s arrangements are performed by renowned vocal groups including the Manhattan Transfer, New York Voices, the Swingle Singers, M-Pact, Beachfront Property, Chanticleer, Voice Trek, and her orchestral works played by various symphonies including the Boston Pops. Her educational arrangements are distributed by leading publishers including Hal Leonard, Alfred Publishing, Shawnee Press, SMP Jazz as well as her own online company, MichMusic. As Vocal Producer for the Manhattan Transfer’s 2009 CD release, The Chick Corea Songbook, Michele worked closely with the Transfer and contributed two arrangements to the project. Other arrangements or compositions have been featured on the Shari Lewis TV show, Disney’s 101 Dalmatians Sing-along CD, and the Holland America Cruise line.

Currently on faculty at University of California, Los Angeles, Michele taught previously at USC, CSU Long Beach, and the Phil Mattson School. As a highly sought-after teacher and clinician, Michele has been invited to teach in 23 countries to date and has delivered presentations for some of the world’s most prestigious music conferences including the World Choral Symposium, the IAJE and JEN Conferences, and the ACDA National Conference. Her educational book/CD sets, Vocal Improvisation (Advance Music), Jazz Singer’s Handbook (Alfred Publishing), and Jazz Piano Handbook (Alfred Publishing) are available internationally.

Michele’s past tours as pianist and/or singer range from Ogalla, Nebraska to Carnegie Hall, South Korea with Patti Kim to Atlantic City with Bobby Vinton, and others. Her duo CD as a vocalist with jazz guitarist Bruce Forman is titled The Sound of Music. In her role as Music Supervisor for the DreamWorks film Prince of Egypt, Michele journeyed through Europe and Asia to oversee the music production for the film’s foreign language dubs. www.michmusic.com